By Won Kim Trust me, this article isn't some kind of grassroots promotion to get our readers on our Facebook page or to help Facebook attain more traffic (I think they're doing fine without our help). If anything, I'm using the whole idea of Facebook to drive a point. I could have just as easily used other examples such as Myspace, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter or whatever social network du jour that exists out there to convey this simple message: Get familiar with social networking on the Web, because if you're lagging behind now, well, your kids are going to blow you out of the water. Our generation was born into the inception and the growing concept of the Internet. By simple process of deduction, that would make our children the first generation to grow up completely immersed in what we know as the golden age of the Internet. If you were born circa 60's, 70's and early 80's, you didn't touch a computer until early teens, and you weren't embracing the Internet until late teens or your twenties. We grew up looking at the computer as a pragmatic machine used for data storage, compiling file documents and processing information. Our kids are growing up looking at the computer as an outlet to their social life. We are modern, they are postmodern. In other words, we are cavemen of the Internet times. There are several reasons why a SavvyDaddy should become familiar with the Internet, specifically the social networking phenomenon. Here are three that resonate with me the most:
- Safety. The more you know how a social network functions, the more you know how your kids are connecting with friends and even strangers. The more you know means the less chance your kids can get hurt.
- Connection. The more you understand the intricacies of a social networking site, the more chance you may have to connect with your kids in their world. If you have no idea what it means to have a "wall-to-wall" or to "poke" a friend, the less likely your kid will want to share about their life-which we have to admit, is lived part of the time on the Worldwide Web.
- Growth. As our world gets more connected and our global economy operates more on a Web-oriented platform, the more you know means the more chance you have to help your children grow to compete in an evolving market. How do your kids use the computer in elementary school? What kind of subjects will be available in high schools a few years from now? How about college courses? What about career decisions? The more you know means you will have actual input into their decisions, and in part, you will play a significant role in their growth as a man or woman entering the complex, ever-flattening world.